Press-Republican

Columns

April 30, 2013

Victims can regain control of their lives

There is help to get your life back after victimization.

When I write these columns, I try to think of what I have learned that you might not know. In our regular lives, we mostly do not see beyond the outside layers of other people.

However, as a prosecutor and then a judge, I saw the layers peeled back. Mostly, people meet police and prosecutors at the worst times in their lives.

It has been eye-opening to me that there are so many people among us who have been victimized by others. Their trauma and suffering can continue long after the crime.

Many of the crimes are sexual; sometimes these took place recently, and other times they were years ago. Most were committed by a trusted person who took advantage of a child, a teen, a friend or a date.

SECRETS REVEALED

As district attorney, I learned of these crimes when they were reported to the police, of course. Also, I learned of them when jurors were being picked for rape cases and potential jurors told us they could not be impartial because they had been victimized. Sometimes this happened decades earlier, and it stayed a secret. Being asked to sit on a jury in a sex case brought it all back, and they talked about it for the first time.

As judge, I learned about past rape and sexual abuse of defendants I sentenced by reading the pre-sentence investigation reports prepared by the Probation Department.

Many who commit crimes were abused as children. This is part of the background information gathered to give the judge a complete picture of the defendant. Over the years, defendants themselves, particularly those in treatment for substance abuse or mental-health issues, have told me about their own history of being abused.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Treating corporations like people

    Problems arise in many areas when businesses take on the attributes of individuals as mandated by the court, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time